(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
ANKARA - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that three more mayors, including the high-profile mayor of the capital Ankara, are to resign soon, as he pushes to revitalize his ruling party ahead of 2019 elections.
It was Erdogan's most explicit confirmation yet of his desire for a shake-up among veteran politicians - some of whom are nationally prominent - after voters in many big cities rejected an April referendum granting him sweeping powers.
"Three mayors from our party have handed in their resignations so far, and there are three more. I believe they will hand theirs in as soon as possible," Erdogan told a news conference in Ankara.
"Those whose resignations we are waiting for are preparing to hand theirs in, otherwise we will do what is necessary," Erdogan said.
While Erdogan narrowly won the referendum to change the constitution and create an executive presidency, voters in 17 of the country's 30 largest cities voted against the move.
Since then, Erdogan has spoken of the need for renewal in local government and the ruling AK Party, citing signs of "metal fatigue" within administrations.